How IT is Used to Manage Business Operations
Bay area based Sugar Bowl Bakery sells and ships its baked donuts, brownies and pastries to retailers Starbucks, Costco and Safeway every day. The small business averages yearly sales of more than 40 million dollars and recently spent 400,000 dollars on an IT makeover to help streamline operations. Correspondent Sumi Das interviews Sugar Bowl Bakery president Andrew Ly and general manager Michael Ly about the various technologies the SMB is using to manage its operations, from deploying inventor
Michael Lee: So Tracey, so how’s the production today?
Tracey: The production today is running well, very smoothly, everything is on time, on schedule.
Michael Lee: So no issue?
Tracey: So far no issue.
Michael Lee: Ah, okay.
Host: Michael Lee is the General Manager at Sugar Bowl bakery. Today he’s on deadline.
Michael Lee: They're packaging four doughnuts to a box. Normally we make about five thousand glazed doughnuts.
Host: A day?
Michael Lee: Yeah, and then we make about six thousand chocolate glazed doughnuts.
Host: The small business needs to deliver an order to Star Bucks, one of its biggest customers.
Michael Lee: I would say 90 to 95% of the time we fulfill the order. We know how to handle it. you know, even though it's a stressful, you know situation.
Host: Handling stressful situation is nothing new for the company, to meet customer demand, Lee and his team relay in business technology.
Implementing IT was the idea of Andrew Lee the companies President.
Andrew Lee: So the technology is incredibly helpful to us. I went to school I studied Computer Science and I have maked it.
Host: Lee started the family business with his four brothers after immigrating from Vietnam. They opened a small doughnut shop with $40,000.00 in 1984.
Female: Hi, this is Sugar Bowl bakery.
Host: Since then the Sugar Bowl bakery has grown today their sales average more than $40 million a year and they have three manufacturing plants which supply their pastries to Asia, Canada and the US. Their number one product is Pom yeast, which they sell to retailer Costco. They make 500,000 a day.
Andrew Lee: We make 24 hours a day, six days a week, none stop.
Host: So you’ve come a long way since your beginning is a very small coffee shop. How did you get to this point?
Andrew Lee: Well I've really value work. You have to become on what you want and how you work and you have to be persistent. The weight of this persists of what we do and become on how we do it.
Host: One of the things they did was build a system that would help the business manage financial data and inventory across their various locations. The investment, $400,000.00.
Andrew Lee: It's something that we knew, like a couple of years ago, we have to do. Because if you don’t have visibility on how your business operate, you can't run it efficiently.
Host: Now, the bakery can keep track of all the ingredients. Calculating various purchase orders, from how many pounds of butter they need for their doughnuts, the amount of chocolate used in their brownie bites. Sugar bowl bakery also installed a data center to manage operations internally.
Andrew Lee: So this is our data center. This is where all our IT system is stored at. So our business server powers are PRP business software and then we also have our email system and we have also have our file server with all the employees, they stored their business files. And then we also have a remote desktop server which allows people to log into their computer and their files when they either out of the office or they're traveling.
Host: The technology addition that has made the biggest difference inside the bakery and makes sure their pastries taste great is this machine right here.
Andrew Lee: This computer you can reset the temperature value, the highest temperature and the lower, and so your products will be very consistent and it comes out to be extremely high quality product.
Host: Without these technologies, Lee wouldn’t be able to produce a mass volume and expand the business which he says he was looking to do. What do you imagine that will be doing in the future, do you want to be the Sarah Lee bakery or how big do you want to get?
Andrew Lee: We want our products to be everywhere and that is what we are working to have. At this point here, we cannot compare ourselves to Sarah Lee or General Miles or whoever out there but we become into go at the phase that we want to go.
Michael Lee: These doughnuts they're going to Star Bucks.
Host: As for today’s deadline Micheal and his team were able to get their doughnut order out on time, a successful day at the Sugar Bowl Bakery. For Bnet, I'm Sumi Das.
How IT is Used to Manage Business Operations
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